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Special Thanks To Our Simply Talented Sponsors:

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Simply Talented Date Change

The TEAM Board of Directors and leadership were faced with a really tough decision in December of 2018. We had booked our Simply Talented Gala and Competition following last year’s final Simply Red Gala. We worked with the amazing team at the Hilton Fort Collins to schedule a date that would work best and we had settled on Friday February 22, 2019.

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Then, during the fall of 2018, while we were in the midst of auditions for Simply Talented, we discovered that one of our fellow partner nonprofit agencies, ChildSafe, also had their famous Trivia Bowl scheduled for Friday February 22, 2019. We know that many of our supporters also support the great work of ChildSafe. We did not want them to have to pick and choose which event they are going to attend.

Therefore, after much deliberation, scrambling and adjusting schedules. we planned to change the date of our first ever, Simply Talented Competition and Gala. The new date will be MARCH 8, 2019. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchase right here on our website. This year we are offering dinner tickets for $50.00 and general admission tickets that do not include dinner for $10.00. These general admission tickets are intended to afford the opportunity for our finalists’ peers to attend the show to support their friends at a reduced cost.


TEAM is Turning Over a New Leaf in Prevention

By Gordon Coombes

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I love a good movie, especially movies that have great dialogue and character development. One such movie that has come to mind often lately is from the movie “Moneyball” starring Brad Pitt as Oakland Athletics GM Billy Beane. My favorite scene is when Beane is being courted by Boston Red Sox owner John Henry following Beane’s historic season, in which, he was the first major league baseball manager to utilized analytics to manage the his Team. In this scene, Henry marvels at Beane success and unconventional approach. He then tells Beane “I know you are taking it in the teeth out there, but the first guy through the wall, he always gets bloody, always.” He goes on to explain how Beane’s new approach to baseball management is a threat to his critic’s approach, the game and to their jobs because they don’t want to evolve to a newer and better way of doing business. He shares his belief that those clubs that aren’t rebuilding using Beane’s approach were ‘dinosaurs’ facing extinction.

In a way, we can relate to Beane. A few years ago, TEAM leadership recognized that there was an evolution occurring when it came to the legalization of marijuana across the country. It was plain to see that this evolution was not going to reverse and, over time, most states would begin to follow in the footsteps of Colorado. In those early days, TEAM staff attended several national conferences where the critics took it to Colorado’s proverbial teeth. Our state was blasted for legalizing marijuana and held as a shining example of what not to do. Meanwhile, TEAM was exploring evidenced based or informed strategies to adapt to the changing landscape of prevention that included the legalization of marijuana.

We looked at responsible retailer programs, including our own Responsible Alcohol Retailer (RAR) program and began examine how to incorporate a marijuana chapter to our program. We also started to collaborate with stakeholders in the community, at the state level and with the industry itself to explore data and impact in our community. We worked with stakeholders to inform policy at the local and state level. We even reached out to inform policy at a federal level. Essentially deploying the Strategic Prevention Framework to adapt to our changing world. Today, Northern Colorado is being recognized more and more as a model of great collaboration, partnerships and policy related to the legalization of marijuana. Our prevention strategies have helped to maintain pre-legalization use rates among youth, despite many believing that use rates would skyrocket as a result of legalization. So far, our prevention strategies have proven successful.

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Not everyone has embraced our collaborative approach. Some have been downright critical. We understand that and understand that communities have to do what is best for their community, as we have also had to do in our community. That said, we believe prevention organizations and coalitions operating in communities that have legalized marijuana should have access to lessons learned by those who have gone through the “wall” ahead of them. To that end, TEAM will host a first of it’s kind prevention symposium on June 17 and 18 of 2019. Our “Turning Over A New Leaf” symposium will include guest presenters from enforcement, the medical community, licensing and public health sharing their experiences, successes and challenges. The symposium will also feature a marijuana industry panel question and answer session and facility tours.

We are excited to share our experiences with the rest of the prevention world in hopes that others can learn, explore, walk away with practical skills to improve community health and safety.




by Adam Musielewicz- Coalition Director


Sharing what you have learned through lived experience is important. It is not so different with prevention work in general. As a substance use and misuse prevention agency, adopting best practices from the field and incorporating them into programs and practices is vital. At the same time, making sure you continue to learn from the community you serve. Team's work with the Loveland and Bethoud Youth Advisory Comissions (YAC's) as part of its Southern Larimer Prevention Partnership (SlPP), was selected as presentation topic for the State of Colorado's Risk & Protective Factor Conference in the spring of this year. This conference is attended by community partners across the state, sharing "lessons learned" from often years of experience. We are excited to be sharing our successes with youth partners in our continued work in Southern Larimer County, supporting youth development by providing opportunities for youth to lead the way in our prevention efforts. 

Survey Sarah

Happy New Year!

By Sarah Allison- Evaluation Director

It’s hard to believe how fast the holiday time spent with friends and family flew by and that we’ve finally reached 2019. Like most people, I find myself thinking a lot about goals and resolutions as we cross over into a new year. While it seems simple to get caught up in the “New Year, New Me” sentiment that spreads during the month of January, the evaluator side of me always makes sure to encourage all of my friends to focus on SMART goals.

SMART goals refer to goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. They’re something we talk about a lot at TEAM as we plan to measure the success of our programs and grant projects. However, they are also the key to reaching your new year’s resolution goals!

Within the realm of TEAM’s work, SMART goals set us up for success by having an outcome in mind that we know we can reach and sets up the timeline to reach it. For example, a SMART goal here at TEAM would be, “The Define Youth program will act as a diversion option for 300 youth in the Loveland Municipal Court System with substance related offences by December 2019.” This goal has a clearly stated purpose, is realistic, provides us with a measurable outcome, and provides us with a deadline by which to achieve it. From an evaluation stand point, I know exactly what needs to be done for us to be successful – and our program staff does as well.

Taking the mystery out of “success” and setting clear expectations that are realistic, gives your new year’s resolution the structure it needs to be achievable. Good luck reaching your goals!



Define Youth Partners: Team would like to recognize these organizations who have partnered with our Define Youth program to educate youth on a variety of healthy, alternative activities available to them within our community!


Programming for prevention

New Year Change

By Meg Rohde- Program Specialist

As 2019 rolled in, so did the tweets, posts, and snaps about what the New Year would bring.  Some were funny: “New Year, New You. Use Your Blinker”.  Others hinted at self-transformation or small steps to making the world a better place.  All of them show our acknowledgement of change and the possibilities that come with change.  So, what better time to highlight the potential of change in our youth than during the New Year?

In the past, adolescence was portrayed as a time of “Storm and Stress”: an awkward, chaotic time when youth were transitioning from dependent beings into self-sufficient, capable adults.  But over time, as researches began to focus on the benefits of this time of transformation, people began to see adolescence through a new lens. One that show our teenage years not as an unavoidable inconvenience in our developmental journey, but as an opportunity to focus on youth’s strengths and interests as they approach adulthood.


This “lens”, referred to as Positive Youth Development, aims to promote the positive in youth.  Programs utilizing Positive Youth Development provide a safe, structured environment where youth have the opportunity to explore their strengths and interests.  Youth are encouraged to build meaningful relationships with supportive adults and interact with others in a way that builds positive social norms.  Most importantly, youth are included as equal partners.  They have the opportunity to collaborate with professionals working on the programming and policies that affect them and their community.  Overall, Positive Youth Development acknowledges youth as a source of positive change and strength within our communities; a cog in our “community wheel” that, when included, makes us all more successful.

As we enter 2019 and consider the changes we would like to see in our homes, schools, and community, take a moment to consider if you are promoting Positive Youth Development in the work you do.  


Parenting Partnerships

Your Life on BrainWise: Part 10

By Jane Wilson- Parent Engagement Specialist

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Understanding and accepting responsibility of our decisions requires that we also Consider the Consequences of our choiceslast month we learned that when examining our choices, we must consider consequences now, consequences later, and consequences affecting others.

Wise Way #9, Setting Goals and Plans for Action helps connect our choices with the consequences of those choices. Reaching your goals requires you to use all of the Wise Ways and apply awareness of them to not only yourself, but to those you interact with as well.

People who use their Wizard Brain reach their goals because their brains have pathways connecting all of their thinking skills, which gives them access to a broad range of information needed to form a goal and a plan for achieving it.

Every day we want something we do not have. An important thinking skill is being able to stop & think about what you want and how you are going to get it. For example, if your goal is to not get any cavities, your plan for action would likely include brushing and flossing daily as well as regular checkups from the dentist and limiting sugary foods.

Take a moment to think about a goal that you would like to reach. A great rule of thumb is to ensure that your goal follows the SMART goal guidelines – the goal should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. You can also take into consideration all of the Wise Ways you have learned so far.

What Wise Ways will help you reach this goal?

  • Constellation of support: What resources (inner circle and broader constellation) do you have available?

  • Red flag warnings: Are there any internal or external red flags that signal there may be emotions involved that could block your plan of action?

  • Exiting the Emotions Elevator: How can you manage these emotions?

  • Fact vs. Opinion: What are the facts that you have control over to reach this goal?

  • Asking Questions and Gathering Information: What area of your plan needs more information or clarification?

  • Identify Your Choices: What are the choices involved in reaching this goal?

  • Consider the Consequences: Will this goal have consequences for you or others? Will those consequences be immediate or in the future?

As you begin your goal setting process, remember the What, Why and How. What is the result you want to see and feel, Why do you want to achieve this result, and How are you going to achieve it?

For more information on Engaging Families and the BrainWise program, email


RAR News

RAR for 2019

By Nathan Dewey- RAR Program Specialist

Happy New Year 2019! This is going to be the biggest year ever for the Responsible Association of Retailers (RAR) program here at TEAM Wellness and Prevention and we cannot wait to share it with you all in the months to come. This month we would like to tell you about something that has been in the works for quite some time here at TEAM. We have finally been invited, after a back and forth conversation, to attend and share our RAR Cannabis Chapter experiences at the CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America) 29th Annual National Leadership Forum in Washington DC in February. In case you do not know, CADCA is the premier membership organization representing those working to make their communities safe, healthy and drug-free, and have members in every U.S. state and territory and in 23 countries around the world. To give you a bit more insight to why we are going, you should know that CADCA’s mission is to strengthen the capacity of community coalitions to create and maintain safe, healthy and drug-free communities globally. This is accomplished by providing technical assistance and training, public policy advocacy, media strategies and marketing programs, training and special events.

The reason this is such a big opportunity for us is due to the history we have had with CADCA over the past few years. We have had issues with them concerning our RAR Cannabis Chapter, and the work we do with the cannabis industry here in Colorado. Last summer, we were officially invited to speak at the 17th Annual CADCA Mid-Year Training Institute, to speak about the good work we are doing with Cannabis in Colorado, about our cannabis project, and the truth about the relationships we have in our community with cannabis retailers, state and local law enforcement agencies and the community, what a great opportunity! However, a couple weeks before the event, we were then un-invited due to a big push back from some different state delegations, within the CADCA organization, threatening that they would no longer attend the whole conference unless we were un-invited to speak at the event. We were then un-invited and we really had no choice but to go with their decision and to keep moving forward and try to break down the barriers that exist between states who have and have not legalized cannabis. Through patience and time, and the leadership of our executive director, we were able to get a meeting with the higher-ups at the CADCA administration to help shed some light on the good prevention work we are doing with the cannabis industry here in Colorado. After some further talks and considerations by CADCA, we were finally re-invited to share our knowledge and experience. We will be presenting a “Poster Talk.”

A “Poster Talk” is a way to advertise and share about your organization and the work you are doing. It combines text and graphics to present your organization in a way that is visually interesting and accessible. It allows you to display your work to a large group of others and to talk to and receive feedback from interested parties. Though we would like to have our very own full speaking sessions during the conference, we know this is the right direction for us and our work and we know this will be the next step to getting us into the mainstream sessions at the CADCA conferences. Being the first state to legalize cannabis, and Team W&P being trailblazers by working with the industry in the name of prevention, we have a lot of great knowledge and experiences to help other prevention organizations to understand how to work with the cannabis industry, law enforcement and local communities to promote safe and responsible sales of cannabis in a legalized state. We hope to share the good and the bad things and the experiences we have had to help other prevention organizations in states that have chosen to legalize cannabis as well. After this session, we hope to be invited for full conference sessions in the years to come, where we can truly share the current information on cannabis in Colorado, everything that we have done and everything that we plan to do with the RAR Cannabis program. Our ultimate goal is that we can help other prevention organizations in their communities, as the legalization of cannabis is only moving forward and will not be moving backwards and in the near future will become federally legal.

Finally, we will also be using this opportunity to showcase our cannabis responsible vendor training program TenderWise, ( see earlier RAR TEAM Times articles about this program) and offer out our Turning Over A New Leaf Symposium that we will be hosting in mid-June 2019.  The symposium is an opportunity for people and organizations to come to us in Colorado and learn about what we are doing here. I will write future articles on the Turning Over A New Leaf Leaf Symposium in the months ahead,  We also have got some big news about RAR that we will be announcing and rolling out over the next few months. The RAR program is set to make a really big impact in our community, as well as more communities in the greater Colorado area.



All This Talk about Walls

By Gordon Coombes- Executive Director

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Walls, walls, walls… It seems like these days everyone is talking about walls. I even mentioned walls in one of our headline articles. The most controversial wall these days happens to be the one proposed for our Southern border and, unless you have been living under a rock on the dark side of the moon for the last few years, you know that it is a hot topic in the United States today. It is a subject that ignites tempers for those on both sides of the argument. A subject that fuels the fire of political discord throughout the country and has literally shut down a government. One that has seriously divided us as a nation. A subject that has no easy solution. Right about now, you are probably wondering a couple things. “Is he for the wall or against it?” or “Is he really about to wade into this explosive topic?” Not a chance! While I may or may not have my own personal opinion on the subject, that is not what this EDitorial endeavoring to explore.

Having spent the largest portion of my professional life dealing with the life-shattering impact of substance use disorder, I have gained a great understanding of the supply chains that feed America’s appetite for illegal drugs. The United States is one of the largest consumers of illegal drugs in the world and according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the United States is ranked number 3 on their list of countries by prevalence of opiates use.

Some would argue that a wall or barrier of some sort will stop or at least slow the flow of some illegal drugs into the United States. While that may be argued, I would suggest that as long as there is a demand, there will be someone willing to supply that demand. That is a simple business concept that is as true as the sky is blue and grass is green. I would also propose that, at least as it relates to drug trafficking, a wall is an overly simple answer to an extremely complex question.

In our culture, we often find it easy to place blame on others for our shortcomings. Unfortunately, in this instance, there is no one else to blame. We have created the demand. Until we stop pointing fingers at others and start looking inward at our appetite for drugs, we will not stop the illegal drug trade. We will also not be able to stop those who look to profit from our addiction. Changing the tide of addiction begins with an investment in treatment and prevention. I have said it before and I will repeat it over and over. We will never stop drug trafficking and all of the violence and crime that accompanies it until will reduce the demand for drugs.